‘Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but (…) in accordance with the faith God has distributed to each of you.’ Romans 12:3b
When someone has traveled from place to place for years, preaching the gospel, one might expect the preaching to become merely a routine. But Paul still preached in the eager expectation that God would confirm his word by the signs and wonders that followed. So Paul did not routinely pour out a sermon over the heads of people; he expectantly looked forward to what God would do through this message in the hearts of the listeners.
Faith arises from hearing (Romans 10:14), therefore Paul expected God to grant faith to the people who heard his message. Hopefully, he looked around and suddenly he saw a man who listened intensely to every word Paul said. And during his preaching, this man received faith that God was going to heal him.
No human can talk someone into this, only God can give this faith. God gives everyone personally faith in accordance to what he can bear. For faith is not something for our own joy, but it is a means to live for God.
What a responsibility to receive faith! This man had been lame from birth and had never walked, he had learned to live with it. But God broke through his daily routine and gave him faith to be healed, to be able to walk to the glory of God.
Paul saw this.
How do we look at people when we tell them about Jesus? Do we see how they react? Are we interested to see what works God does in their hearts? Paul saw God’s work in this hopelessly lame man. It was not because Paul believed in a doctrine of healing, but because he saw God’s work in the heart of this man who was listening to him. Therefore, he called out, ‘Stand up on your feet!’